Excerpt From Medical Ethics: Real-World Application By Afshin Nasser

Social Media

Social media is a serious challenge for physicians. As both doctors and patients exchange thoughts and stories on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, this opens a portal to risky consequences

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

Social media is a serious challenge for physicians. As both doctors and patients exchange thoughts and stories on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, this opens a portal to risky consequences, including:

● Excess: People tend to lose normal inhibitions online and end up saying things they would never say in person. Once said, it is no longer yours to control, and can be legally used against you.
● Who is on the other side: When sending emails and texts, one has no idea who can access them.
● State lines: Recommendations you offer online can be passed on to other states. You can be charged with practicing without a license, if you are not licensed in those states.
● Staff: A physician is responsible for his/her staff’s actions. If a staff member posts a photo or comment that violates the law, the physician will be the one who will be disciplined.
● Becoming too friendly with patients: Physicians who share too much personal information with patients online are basically allowing patients to get personally closer to them, which is outside of professional conduct.


Q35 A multispecialty physician group hired a new graduate, who is well liked by patients and staff alike, and her clinical care is excellent. A senior physician in the group discovers the new physician’s social media page contains negative remarks about obese patients and non-compliant patients without naming any names. She also has many photos at parties, drinking alcohol, and behaving unprofessionally.What is the most appropriate course of action? A-Advise the most senior physician in the group about the post
B-Comment on social media about colleague’s unprofessional conduct
C-Meet the colleague, discuss the inappropriate content and urge her to remove it.
D-No action is required

Download this chapter as a pdf

State Medical Boards

The medical board’s duty is to protect the public, not the physician. State medical boards today focus on licensed physicians who violate professional ethics, and their mandate has significantly evolved to focus on disciplining physicians.

Read More »

Boundary Violation

Boundaries create a therapeutic distance between physician and patient and clarify their respective roles and expectations. Boundaries define limits of the therapeutic relationship.

Read More »

Medical Ethics: Real-World Application By Afshin Nasser

You may have acquired this book as a result of conflicts with peers, administrators, patients, or State Medical Boards, where the outcomes of those interactions have left you wondering, “…what if I had done things differently?”

In that case, I hope that this book answers some of your questions and guides you with regards to any future quandaries you may encounter.


If you are a healthcare worker seeking to understand the subject of medical ethics, then I hope this book helps you acquire the clarity you seek.
If you are an individual simply curious about medical ethics, then I raise my hat to you for your pursuit of knowledge.